The author of Proverbs 4, believed to be Solomon the third king of Israel, placed a priority, an emphasis, on “guarding” our hearts. He said, “Above all else…”
Reading through the opening chapters of Proverbs, we find Solomon giving his readers essential wisdom in their pursuit of a God-honoring life: “…fools despise wisdom and discipline…(Proverbs 1.7)…wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men…(Proverbs 2.12)…keep your mouth free of perversity…(Proverbs 4.24).”
All of these are critical “life lessons” Solomon had learned through the course of his life, a life of wild inconsistency that vacillated between obedience and disobedience.
In the middle of this essential wisdom, it’s as if Solomon wanted his readers to pay particular attention to what was coming next, “Guard your heart.” It’s as if he says, “Yes, you need to do all of these things. But, above and beyond everything else, guard your heart.” This is how important it is! Guard your heart!
Perhaps you realize there are parts of your heart where you’ve “let your guard down.” Things you listen to (music, caustic political talk, gossip), things you see and read (sexually explicit material, hollow romances, mindless sports programs, and games), or things you think or say (motivated by anger, frustration, or bitterness). You need to “rebuild a fence” around your heart.
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